Antonio Profico

Antonio Profico
IPHES Catalan Institute for Human Palaeoecology and Social Evolution | IPHES

PhD

About

149
Publications
40,681
Reads
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642
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2022 - present
October 2021 - January 2022
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Fellow
September 2019 - August 2021
The University of York
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
Endogenous ouabain (EO) is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, usually associated with adverse cardiovascular effects. However, recent studies have highlighted its possible role in blood pressure control and in cardio-renal damage, and it seems to be involved in the adaptive response to hypoxia. The aim of this study is to detect the...
Article
Full-text available
In two publications from 1967 and 1971, M. Masali described human skeletal remains presumed to have been found in the Balzi Rossi caves (Ventimiglia, Italy), based on a signed note dated to 1908. Since then, the remains - dubbed "Conio's Finds" and preserved at the University of Torino - had not been further studied. We performed a multidisciplinar...
Article
Full-text available
The Fuegians, ancient inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, are an exemplary case of a cold-adapted population, since they were capable of living in extreme climatic conditions without any adequate clothing. However, the mechanisms of their extraordinary resistance to cold remain enigmatic. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a crucial role in this kind of...
Article
Modern phylogenetic comparative methods allow us to estimate evolutionary rates of phenotypic change, how these rates differ across clades, and to assess whether the rates remained constant over time. Unfortunately, currently available phylogenetic comparative tools express the rate in terms of a scalar dimension, and do not allow us to determine r...
Article
Fluctuating Asymmetry (FA) in morphology is used as a proxy for developmental instability in response to stress factors. FA has important implications for understanding the impact of differential environments and stressors on the skeletal phenotype. Here, we explore FA in the mandibular morphology of wild and captive Macaca fuscata to detect differ...
Poster
Full-text available
A recent protocol of digital restoration is applied to the Middle Pleistocene human cranium from Steinheim (Germany). The retrodeformation of the specimen sheds new light on the taphonomic origin of some peculiar features observed on the cranium and returned a morphology consistent with its attribution to the Neanderthal lineage.
Article
Full-text available
In biological anthropology, parameters relating to cross-sectional geometry are calculated in paired long bones to evaluate the degree of lateralization of anatomy and, by inference, function. Here, we describe a novel approach, newly added to the morphomap R package, to assess the lateralization of the distribution of cortical bone along the entir...
Article
Full-text available
The observation and the quantification of asymmetry in biological structures are deeply investigated in geometric morphometrics. Patterns of asymmetry were explored in both living and fossil species. In living organisms, levels of directional and fluctuating asymmetry are informative about developmental processes and health status of the individual...
Article
Full-text available
A number of different approaches are currently available to digitally restore the symmetry of a specimen deformed by taphonomic processes. These tools include mirroring and retrodeformation to approximate the original shape of an object by symmetrisation. Retrodeformation has the potential to return a rather faithful representation of the original...
Article
Full-text available
Studying the changes of shape is a common concern in many scientific fields. We address here two problems: (1) quantifying the deformation between two given shapes and (2) transporting this deformation to morph a third shape. These operations can be done with or without point correspondence, depending on the availability of a surface matching algor...
Article
Full-text available
Fluctuating Asymmetry (FA) in morphology is used as a proxy for developmental instability in response to stress factors. FA has important implications for understanding the impact of differential environments and stressors on the skeletal phenotype. Here, we explore FA in the mandibular morphology of wild and captive Macaca fuscata to detect differ...
Article
Objectives: Craniofacial morphology (CFM) is often used to address questions about the biological affinities of the earliest Americans, or Paleoindians, but resolution is complicated in part by a lack of well-preserved crania. The Wilson-Leonard 2 (WL-2) Paleoindian skull from Texas has never been fully analyzed because it is crushed and cannot be...
Preprint
Full-text available
The fossil record from the Italian peninsula is of special interest for assessing the variability of pre-modern human populations (i.e., extinct humans non-belonging to the proper species Homo sapiens) and their evolutionary history. In 2005, a detailed “Catalogue of Italian Fossil Human Remains from the Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic” was publishe...
Article
Full-text available
The fossil record from the Italian peninsula is of special interest for assessing the variability of pre-modern human populations (i.e., extinct humans non-belonging to the proper species Homo sapiens) and their evolutionary history. In 2005, a detailed "Catalogue of Italian Fossil Human Remains from the Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic" was publishe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The pardel lynx, Lynx pardinus, is considered one of the most threatened living felids, currently distributed in restricted areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The evolutionary history of this medium-sized felid, as well as its relationships with the Middle-Late Pleistocene “cave lynx” from Mediterranean Europe, have fuelled a decades-long debate among...
Article
It has long been believed that Neanderthals originated and flourished on the European continent. However, recent morphological and genetic studies have suggested that they may have received a genetic contribution from a yet unknown non-European group. Here we report on the recent discovery of archaic Homo fossils from the site of Nesher Ramla, Isra...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The statistical analysis of fossil remains is essential to understand the evolution of the genus Homo. Unfortunately, the human fossil record is straight away scarce and plagued with severe loss of information caused by taphonomic processes. The recently developed field of Virtual Anthropology helps to ameliorate this situation by using...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Fuegians, extinct inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, were an exemplary case of a cold-adapted population capable of living in extreme weather conditions without any adequate clothing, however the mechanisms of their extraordinary resistance to cold remain enigmatic. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a crucial role in this kind of adaptation beside...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological convergence can be assessed using a variety of statistical methods. None of the methods proposed to date enable the visualization of convergence. All are based on the assumption that the phenotypes either converge, or do not. However, between species, morphologically similar regions of a larger structure may behave differently. Previo...
Article
The pardel lynx Lynx pardinus is today restricted to small populations living in southern Iberian Peninsula. However, this endangered species was widely spread throughout Iberia until historical times and is currently the subject of intense conservation programs. Paleontological data suggest that its past geographical range was much wider, includin...
Article
Aging of the head and especially the face have been studied intensively, yet questions remain about the timing and rates of aging throughout adulthood and about the extent to which aging differs between men and women. Here we address these issues by developing statistical models of craniofacial aging to describe and compare aging through the life c...
Article
Full-text available
KNM-OG 45500 is a hominin fossil composed of parts of a frontal bone, left temporal bone, and cranial vault pieces. Since its discovery along the Olorgesailie Formation (Kenya) in 2003, it has been associated with the Homo erectus hypodigm. The specimen, derived from a geological context dated to ca. 900 Ka BP, has been described as a very small in...
Article
Background The range of normal variation of growth and development of the craniofacial region is of direct clinical interest but incompletely understood. Here we develop a statistical model of craniofacial growth and development to compare craniofacial ontogeny between age groups and sexes and pilot an approach to modeling that is relatively straig...
Article
Full-text available
The Neanderthal specimen from Lamalunga Cave, near Altamura (Apulia, Italy), was discovered during a speleological survey in 1993. The specimen is one of the most complete fossil hominins in Europe and its state of preservation is exceptional, although it is stuck in calcareous concretions and the bones are mostly covered by calcite depositions. Ne...
Article
At least six different Homo species populated the World during the latest Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The extinction of all but one of them is currently shrouded in mystery, and no consistent explanation has yet been advanced, despite the enormous importance of the matter. Here, we use a recently implemented past climate emulator and an extensive...
Article
Objective Concha bullosa is a rather common condition of the nasal turbinates, rarely reported in archaeological skeletal collections. This paper examines a case of concha bullosa as seen in a female cranium from a burial in central Italy, dated to the Longobard domination in the Peninsula (mid-7th– early 8th century CE). Materials The individual u...
Article
Full-text available
Homo sapiens is the only species alive able to take advantage of its cognitive abilities to inhabit almost all environments on Earth. Humans are able to culturally construct, rather than biologically inherit, their occupied climatic niche to a degree unparalleled within the animal kingdom. Precisely, when hominins acquired such an ability remains u...
Article
Objectives: We analyzed the main anatomical traits found in the human frontal bone by using a geometric morphometric approach. The objectives of this study are to explore how the frontal bone morphology varies between the sexes and to detect which part of the frontal bone are sexually dimorphic. Materials and methods: The sample is composed of 1...
Article
Full-text available
The inclusion of fossil phenotypes as ancestral character values at nodes in phylogenetic trees is known to increase both the power and reliability of phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) applications. We implemented the R function RRphylo as to integrate fossil phenotypic information as ancestral character values. We tested the new implementati...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study describes and demonstrates the functionalities and application of a new R package, morphomap, designed to extract shape information as semilandmarks in multiple sections, build cortical thickness maps, and calculate biomechanical parameters on long bones. Methods morphomap creates, from a single input (an oriented 3D mesh rep...
Article
Large brains are a defining feature of primates, as is a clear allometric trend between body mass and brain size. However, important questions on the macroevolution of brain shape in primates remain unanswered. Here we address two: (i), does the relationship between the brain size and its shape follow allometric trends and (ii), is this relationshi...
Article
The position (FMP) and orientation (FMO) of the foramen magnum have been used as proxies for locomotion and posture in extant and extinct primates. Several indices have been designed to quantify FMP and FMO but their application has led to conflicting results. Here, we test six widely used indices and two approaches (univariate and multivariate) fo...
Article
Full-text available
Modern humans have larger and more globular brains when compared to other primates. Such anatomical features are further reflected in the possession of a moderately asymmetrical brain with the two hemispheres apparently rotated counterclockwise and slid anteroposteriorly on one another, in what is traditionally described as the Yakovlevian torque....
Article
Full-text available
Equus stenonis is one of the most prevalent European Pleistocene fossil horses. It is believed to be the possible ancestor of all Old World Early Pleistocene Equus, extant zebras and asses, and as such provides insights into Equus evolution and its biogeography and paleoecology. The Equus stenonis holotype skull (IGF560) was first described by Igin...
Article
The phyletic relationship between Canis lupus and the Early-Middle Pleistocene Canis mosbachensis is widely accepted among scholars, although the taxonomy of several European fossil specimens is still debated. In the last decades, many studies focused on the evolution of Pleistocene wolves have been proposed considering new materials as well as spe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wrist shape varies greatly across primates and previous studies indicate that the numerous morphological differences among them are related to a complex mixture of phylogeny and function. However, little is known about whether the variation in these various anatomical differences is linked and to what extent the wrist bones vary independently. Here...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The cross-sectional geometry of long bones is commonly used to infer their biomechanical properties in investigations of past and present primate locomotion as well as to assess intensity and repetitiveness of physical activities, and to estimate body mass. While cross-sectional geometry has proved to be very useful for reconstructing bone loading...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological similarity between biological structures in phylogenetically distant species is usually regarded as evidence of convergent evolution. Yet, phenotypic similarity is not always a sign of natural selection acting on a particular trait, therefore adaptation to similar conditions may fail to generate convergent lineages. Herein we tested w...
Article
Objectives: Reproducing cranial endocasts is a major goal of researchers interested in vertebrate brain evolution. We present a new R software, named endomaker, which allows the automatic extraction of endocasts from skull meshes along with the calculation of its volume. Materials and methods: We applied endomaker on non-primate and primate skulls...
Article
Full-text available
In modern shape analysis, deformation is quantified in different ways depending on the algorithms used and on the scale at which it is evaluated. While global affine and non-affine deformation components can be decoupled and computed using a variety of methods, the very local deformation can be considered, infinitesimally, as an affine deformation....
Article
Full-text available
In physical anthropology sexual dimorphism refers to the morphological differences observed in female and male individuals belonging to the same species. In the human cranium a number of anatomical traits are known to be sexual dimorphic. In this work, we present a geometric morphometric approach to automatically detect the most sexual dimorphic on...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological convergence is an intensely studied macroevolutionary phenomenon. It refers to the morphological resemblance between phylogenetically distant taxa. Currently available methods to explore evolutionary convergence either: rely on the analysis of the phenotypic resemblance between sister clades as compared to their ancestor, fit differen...
Chapter
Bones contain spaces within them. The extraction and the analysis of those cavities are crucial in the study of bone tissue function and can inform about pathologies or past traumatic events. The use of medical imaging techniques allows a non-invasive visualisation of skeletal cavities opening a new frontier in medical inspection and diagnosis. Her...
Article
The geometric morphometric (GM) analysis of complex anatomical structures is an ever more powerful tool to study biological variability, adaptation and evolution. Here, we propose a new method (combinland), developed in R, meant to combine the morphological information contained in different landmark coordinate sets into a single dataset, under a G...
Method
Extract cross sections from long bone meshes at specified intervals along the diaphysis. Calculate two and three-dimensional morphometric maps, cross-sectional geometric parameters, and semilandmarks on the periosteal and endosteal contours of each cross section. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=morphomap
Article
A distinctive trait in primate evolution is the expansion in brain mass. The potential drivers of this trend and how and whether encephalization influenced diversification dynamics in this group are hotly debated. We assembled a phylogeny accounting for 317 primate species, including both extant and extinct taxa, to identify macroevolutionary trend...
Article
A distinctive trait in primate evolution is the expansion in brain mass. The potential drivers of this trend and how and whether encephalization influenced diversification dynamics in this group are hotly debated. We assembled a phylogeny accounting for 317 primate species, including both extant and extinct taxa, to identify macroevolutionary trend...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Medical imaging applied to archaeological human remains represents a powerful tool for the study of specimens of exceptionally fragile nature. Here, the authors report a tomographic computerized investigation on the naturally mummified human remains from the Takarkori rock shelter (Libyan Sahara), dated to the Middle Pastoral Neolithic (ca....
Poster
Full-text available
Determination of sex is a crucial step in all the branches of physical anthropology (forensic anthropology, bio-archaeology and paleoanthropology). Many standards for building biological profiles, such as those for age, stature and body mass estimation, are sex-specific. The cranium is considered a key component in establishing other types of biolo...
Poster
Full-text available
Palaeopathological study of metabolic stress markers on human skeletal remains. The investigation led to the conclusion that the pattern of skeletal evidence most likely corresponds to the disease of scurvy, i.e. a vitamin C deficiency, which consequently may have led to iron malabsorption resulting in anaemia.
Article
Full-text available
One of the features that distinguishes modern humans from our extinct relatives and ancestors is the globular shape of the braincase. As the endocranium closely mirrors the outer shape of the brain, these differences might reflect altered neural architecture. However, in the absence of fossil brain tissue the underlying neuroanatomical changes as w...
Poster
Full-text available
In recent years, in parallel with the development of both digital and information technologies, museology has adopted interactive and virtual techniques for exhibition, communication and dissemination (Profico et al., 2018). These advances allow the creation of innovative museum contents, more accessible and attractive to the public, thus enriching...
Data
During collation of the Supplemental Information for this article, a formatting error occurred that affected the small values that were in scientific notation in the original text file. All data values reported in the paper and shown in the figures are correct, and this error in formatting the Supplemental Information for publication did not have a...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing evolutionary trends in phenotypic means and rates requires the application of phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs). Most PCMs are unsuited to make full use of fossil information, which is a drawback, given the inclusion of such data improves, and in some cases even corrects, the proper understanding of trait evolution. Here we